Chairman's message...redux

You'll have read it here. Would be rude not to respond.

 

Dear Supporter

I write this today ahead of knowing whether or not we have qualified for European football for next season and ahead of a final day of fixtures that will settle key positions for so many teams - such has been the intense competitiveness of this season's Premier League.

Can not disagree, it has been intense. Although not to the standard of last season which involved far more sustained tenacity from the top tier clubs, including ourselves in what was an epic backs to walls fight to claim a top four position. The Premier League has been competitive from top to bottom, but at times also limp and lacklustre. It seems the sides that dug that little bit deeper got that little bit more out of their season.

Harry and his coaching staff have worked with the squad to deliver performances during the season that fans will remember for years to come.

You can be critical of Harry much like you could pin point weakness in any other top class coach in England but when he's achieved something tangible, it's best not whispered. It's unfair to just highlight what you might persist to be his failings when not balancing them out with the positives. He's not meant to be tactically astute to the point of genius, but on more than one occasion he's out foxed the opposition and the players have stood proud and accomplished at the final whistle. Inter at home (dismantled), Milan away (out-Meelaned). The turnaround at the Emirates (half-time battle cry and shift of tempo - although, sure, why can't we start games like that more often?).

We can on our day (cliché) compete with the best. Inconsistency has been the flaw in games where perhaps expectations were not on the same level of intensity and glamour as those bigger occasions.

This season we experienced our first venture in the Champions League and it was one which saw us reach the Quarter Final stage. We achieved this playing some of the most entertaining and exciting football of the competition - truly memorable performances.

We shall miss and all be disappointed at not qualifying for the Champions League for a subsequent year, but I know that the players will be fully focussed next season on returning us to this elite competition.

Our performances in the Premier League have provided great entertainment for supporters too. This season we scored our 1000th goal in the Premier League - a goal which was also Jermain Defoe's 100th goal for the Club - and we recorded wins away at Arsenal and Liverpool, our first wins there since 1993.

Again, kudos to all involved. Manager and players. We made the type of impact in the Champions League that only Tottenham Hotspur could. From the ridiculous to the sublime, there wasn't a moments pause for normality. As a learning curve it was positively unmissable. We made the group stages sexy. Redknapp and the players, take a bow. Some of those memories are practically iconic already. Don't pretend the hairs on the back of your neck don't stand when you re-watch footage.

It's also good to see the chairman reiterate the clubs ambition (what other direction could we possibly take?) in competing for a return to the CL during the course of next seasons league campaign.

Hoodoos smashed by Redknapp? In the time he's spent at the club our mentality against the bigger sides has never been so good. The nightmare of the the 1990s finally banished into the very dark corners of my mind. Whether he is interim or not, we have to remain and look to better our 'position' from one season to the next allowing for minimal fuss when he does decide to leave. The handover has to be clean and crisp.

We have spent years and hundreds of millions of pounds investing in our First Team squad and in creating a settled team. Having quality players means they automatically attract attention from other clubs - but I can assure you that we have no reason to sell, and every intention of retaining, our key players. We shall simply not entertain any approaches for these players.

Reading between the lines, he'll accept any bids as long as a generous donation is made to the Tottenham Foundation. I jest. Yes, we've spent years and hundreds of millions but those years and those millions have hardly gone into creating a settled team. Our recent stability is a consequence and end result of the mistakes and struggle to find consistency off the pitch as well as on it.

Levy, never someone who claimed to be a footballing man, thought he was doing the right thing with the DoF system and believed in the people who advised him. Sadly, no matter how we attempted to go about our business we had fallen so far behind the Sky Sports Top Four that even when we did get our **** together it was still very difficult to even attempt to break the monopoly. Time and it's degrading powers has helped us catch up, but also the realisation that going back to basics (no DoF) without the in-house politics has settled the team and allowed for the foundation to achieve targets that were beyond us for so long.

The end result was the realisation that the former system was not working.

As for selling our top players? It will send out a defeatist message. We all know how football works and if any one player (any top player we have under contract) decides his future is away from WHL, then I hope Levy takes the buying club to the cleaners in terms of transfer fee. I don't want a player who isn't 100% focused on Tottenham.

We're an attractive proposition and we have to remain one. Levy sees this as good business sense as well as good footballing sense (both of which drive each other forwards). If we add to this team and do so well, we'll be up amongst it again.

We do, however, currently have one of the largest squads in the Premier League and, given the 25 man squad rule, it is no longer practical to retain players who are unlikely to qualify within that limit. We shall, therefore, look to reduce the number of these players during the coming summer transfer window in order to operate both effectively and efficiently.

I referenced this in the last blog. Deadwood has to be sold. Loaned players will play a part in our season next year, drafted back to first team training in time for pre-season. Levy and Redknapp have to have a clear plan of action for the summer in terms of players that need to be sold and players that need to be signed. The latter, preferable already decided on in theory so that they can work through the hit list if their top target(s) are unavailable or not interested.

I'm hoping, without any build up or sound bites in public, we sign players out of the blue leaving the ITK's all confused about the lack of inside information leaked. If we approach the start of the season and we've yet to sell certain first teamers who need to be moved on to make way for the players we need - then fire up your webcam, paint your face and turn emo with poems of despair.

Additionally, this season we saw the growth and development of several younger players who have undoubtedly benefited from the combined system of loaning to ensure match time whilst retaining training sessions back at Spurs Lodge. Several of these players will be valuable additions to our First Team next season.

The two Kyles. Danny Rose. The future is bright. And we have Europa League football which means intelligent rotation will benefit all.

We were delighted to see Tottenham Hotspur Ladies top the South East Combination League this season, winning a well-earned promotion to the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division. We shall have the opportunity to applaud them at half-time today as they parade the trophy and we wish them well for next season.

Congrats, but it's not something I follow.

Off the pitch our players have, as always, given their time generously to support the community projects delivered by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, which continues to go from strength to strength. Its added focus is on increasing the employability of individuals of all ages and abilities - a vital role in current times.

Great work again by the club, as you would expect, involved with the local community. I know players are expected to perform such duties but we give a good account of ourselves and hopefully it retains some sense of reality in comparison to their millionaire carefree lifestyle.

We continue to plan for the future growth of the Club. On Friday we took the First Team players and coaching staff to visit the new Training Centre at Enfield. Construction of the main building is well under way and they were able to see the layout and scale of this vast new facility. It is well on course to open in the summer of 2012.

It has taken us six years and three planning applications to achieve and is clear evidence of the determination and ambition of the Club.

We are equally determined and ambitious for a new increased capacity stadium and we shall apply the same energy and vigour in achieving this. We shall look to keep you all updated.

The training centre is a great win for the club. The continued ambiguity and confusion over the OS aftermath and the viability of the NDP is not. At one point this season, it's all we spoke about, dividing fans with pro and anti stances about moving or staying put. Levy cited how he could never comment on some of the politics and movements the club was making during the process due to the nature of the bid and the clubs ambition to build a world class stadium. No doubt this remains protocol whilst we can only guess what Levy's end game is.

The Stratford debate continues whilst the club attempts to push their argument through the courts. I'm not quite grasping the point, but then only Levy knows how best it will help us moving forward.

When the players circle the pitch at the end of the day they will be thanking you for your tremendous support and for the way in which you filled stadia home and away cheering and spurring them on. It has been this combination of team and supporters that has made this season so memorable for us all. Thank you.

I wish you and your families an enjoyable and relaxing summer and look forward to welcoming you back next season.

Yours, Daniel.

I'll relax and enjoy the summer based on criteria concerning decisive transfer window action.

Concluding comment? 

I guess as a  collective we are probably struggling a touch to come to terms with the ambitions that we believe (should) match our progression. Which is why some look at 5th as failure when it's probably more important to see us anchoring ourselves to the top tier of the league.

It's the fact that everyone (Levy, Harry and fans) know that deep down we could have had more this season. We've only got what we've deserved based on the results, and its a shared responsibility for chairman and manager to fix the issues at hand and for us to support the club in doing so. We're in good nick and when you do take into account how brutal modern day football and it's expectations are (Chelsea anyone?) and also our recent history with frequent managerial changes, I'm going to just suck up Harry's personality and say (if nothing interferes) he deserves next season in what most believe to be his last with us regardless.

Simply put, we need to be united (we can actually do with beating them, but you get the meaning).